"DEP Finds Problems at W.Va.'s Coal-Ash Dams"

"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Nearly two-thirds of the coal-ash dams across West Virginia might need repairs, and a quarter of them are ranked as being in poor or unsatisfactory condition, according to a report released Thursday by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

DEP inspectors found stability problems, seepage and erosion at some of the dams as part of a roughly 10-month 'comprehensive review' launched after the failure of a coal-ash impoundment in East Tennessee brought new attention to such facilities.

Agency officials also found problems that prompted at least five enforcement actions at landfills where dry waste products from coal-fired power plants were dumped, according to the 44-page DEP report.

In a news release, agency officials downplayed the problems they found during aerial and on-site inspections and said owners of the dams were making any needed repairs."

Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette November 5, 2009.

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Source: Charleston Gazette, 11/06/2009